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Mommy Guilt: Learn to Worry Less, Focus on What Matters Most, and Raise Happier Kids Paperback – April 8, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (April 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814408702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814408704
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Mommy Guilt looks like it might be one of the new breed of literate mother essay books, the kind in which writers wittily divulge those moments in which they weren't, well, perfect moms. Rather than a collection of essays, Mommy Guilt is a self-help book that aims to guide the time-deprived and stressed mom into parenting with her heart rather than her children's soccer schedule. Some techniques – singing show tunes to your recalcitrant middle schooler, for instance – seem less likely than others, and the book finds its greatest successes in the more no-nonsense advice handed down by the three authors, all of whom have raised children of their own.

What makes Mommy Guiltinteresting on a social anthropology level is that it weaves in experiences of real moms who responded to the authors' survey on mothering issues at a range of age levels and situations. The survey questions are included in the back of the book, along with a helpful reference guide for situations ranging from how to handle tantrums in public to how to pick the right preschool. If the writing is sometimes precocious, its intent is to make mothers let go of the guilt that causes them to enjoy parenting less than they might otherwise, a sort of light-hearted literary jibe at how seriously moms can take the steady collection of dust bunnies and laundry piles over their children's (and their own) emotional well-being. One of the book's more unique features is a section on how to sustain a relationship with one's spouse, something that any parent, but particularly new or first-time parents, would find useful. – Megan Halverson

Review

Charlotte Parent: "...covers life’s most stressful parenting issues with a welcome sense of balance and humor. Moms will find loads of practical advice and strategies."



“…well written and well organized, includes an appropriate amount of humour, and is enjoyable to read.”

-- Journal of Association for Research on Mothering



“As a practical, ‘how-to’ guide, this book is very successful. It is well written and well organized, includes an appropriate amount of humor, and is enjoyable to read. One strength of the book is the inclusion of practical examples of ‘Mommy Guilt,’ alternative ways to think about them, and strategies to deal with them. I particularly like the authors’ use of a developmental approach throughout the book. This developmental approach not only assists parents in dealing with their current issues, but also provides them with a glimpse into the future when their coping strategies will need to change.”

Journal of Association for Research on Mothering

Volumes 9.1 and 10.2


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Customer Reviews

Well, they show how to apply each principle.
R. Gjendem
Also, it helped me realize my guilt feelings are normal and how I can deal with these feelings and make parenting more enjoyable.
Susan Lavelle
I also appreciated the humor sprinkled throughout.
Laurel Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. Gjendem on April 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Finally, a book that doesn't judge, preach or presume to have all the answers. No "my way or the highway" attitude. No labels. No guilt!

It's simple, sane, subdued. It's the voice of reason and common sense from those in the trenches with us. The real-life examples come from the authors' lives or some of the 1,300 parents they surveyed. They show Mommy Guilt Scenarios (run late, get mad, yell at kids, feel guilty). Then they twist the lens just a hair and show Mommy Guilt-Free Scenarios (different ways to perceive and react that make more sense and less guilt). Simple. Powerful.

They list Seven Principles of the Mommy Guilt-Free Philosophy. The list looks like it should be cross-stitched, framed and hung in the kitchen next to the one about "sweeping and dusting can wait 'til tomorrow." Who really believes that? Well, they show how to apply each principle. The underlying message throughout is, "You are not alone. It's OK. You're doing a great job. Forgive yourself. Stop feeling guilty."

One mother said, "Although I love my son, I hate changing diapers. I hate giving baths. I hate messy meal times. Then I hate myself for hating these things." Does anyone really love cleaning shrapnel from poop bombs? Does anyone really love stinking like poop, pee and puke? I think not.

Here's the kicker: "The guilt trap frequently snaps shut when we second-guess ourselves." To me, this is worth the price of the book. Other things may speak to other readers, but this spoke to me. Second-guessing is what parenting guilt is all about for me.

Will this book make everything better? No. Will it make us stop yelling? Probably not. But it will show us how to better equip ourselves to handle things responsibly without being crippled by guilt.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Susan Lavelle on April 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this book very useful with great tips on how to focus on what really matters. Also, it helped me realize my guilt feelings are normal and how I can deal with these feelings and make parenting more enjoyable. All moms should read this excellent book!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By T. Content on March 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
I give this book four stars only because I'm so compulsive I can't give up ALL my guilt, which I feel guilty about--but this is an excellent starting point for ditching an emotion that wastes more energy than anything else. Parents are so apt to be caught in the moment--will my kid *ever* learn to tie her shoes--that we forget the big picture. This will help you frame your big picture, and very concretely--with exercises and charts etc. It also helps, while reading it, to remember George Carlin's childrearing advice: "Parents, do your kids a favor! Leave them the %**!# alone!!" Kids are not hothouse plants, and it's okay for them to realize they are not the center of the universe.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Susan Maltby on April 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent and practical resource for conscientious mothers who may be feeling pressured to perfection. In today's harried world, the women trying hardest to be a good mothers often end up overworked and overstressed. For moms who need to refocus their priorities to achieve balance, this book is invaluable.

~Susan Maltby

L.A. Parent Woman Wise columnist
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Laurel Smith on May 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
I wish I'd read a book like this when I was a new mom. I could have saved myself a lot of grief -- and guilt! I still feel a teensy bit guilty thinking of all the energy I've wasted on guilty feelings in past years when I could have been enjoying parenthood so much more. But no longer! Mommy Guilt has taught me that I really am doing OK as a parent.

One of my favorite chapters is Chapter 8 "Guilt-Free Pleasure - Time with Your Spouse". It's something that is so important, and at the same time it is such a huge source of guilt for many moms. The "Wife Guilt-Free principles" in that chapter are in line with the "Mommy Guilt-free Principles" in the rest of the book and really get you thinking about what's good for your whole family, including you.

The authors have an easy style and a way of making you feel like you're just talking with a good friend over coffee. I also appreciated the humor sprinkled throughout. Mommy Guilt gives you support and reassurance, so you can really enjoy being a parent instead of being overwhelmed by the small stuff.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Busy Mom VINE VOICE on October 24, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a mom of twin preschoolers, I devour mommy books ~~ simply because there are days when it's so chaotic that I need to read to clear my head. This book ~~ highly recommended to my local chapter by the national chapter of Mothers & More ~~ is definitely a godsend. This book zeroes in exactly some of my worst guilts and these fabulous authors set the record straight!

Moms are often targeted by different sources to feel guilty ~~ if they spend more time cleaning the house than with the kids, they feel guilty that they're short-changing the kids. If they work outside the home, they feel guilty for not being there with their kids or they feel guilty that they're enjoying work. Moms feel guilty over disciplining their kids. Moms feel guilty, period. It must be one of those requirements of motherhood ~~ you will feel guilt. At one time or another.

These authors not only tell you to relax ~~ your feelings are valid ~~ but they also offer you suggestions that they have gleamed from their friends, experiences and from talking with other moms. This book is chock full of experiences ~~ from moms dealing with potty training, breast-feeding to raising teenagers, to having a blended family and so on. Their advice are practical and common sensical. They also interject humor as well ~~ life doesn't need to be so serious, so lighten up!

The seven principles of the Mommy-Guilt Free philosophy couldn't have come at a better time for me personally. They are really simple and I would list the basic principles here ~~ but you really need to get a copy of this book for yourself to read more in-depth of what these authors are talking about. It's that good!

Some of the basic principles are: You must be willing to let some things go. Parenting is not a competitive sport.
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